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Halo of light to surround city landmarks for Matariki 2017

Published: 9 June 2017

To celebrate Māori New Year, Aucklanders will see landmarks across their city illuminated in an orange halo.

Rising from its centre, the Sky Tower will bathe the city in colours reminiscent of the breaking dawn. The Sky Tower will remain lit up from festival launch, Saturday 10 June, until the Te Korakora on Federal festival, Thursday 22 June.

“We’re proud to have our iconic Sky Tower as the centrepiece of Matariki, a sight Aucklanders can enjoy from many different vantage points – from Te Atatu Peninsula to Takapuna, Mt Albert to Mission Bay,” says John Mortensen, Chief Operating Officer, SKYCITY Entertainment Group. 

Watch the eastern sea wall of the Viaduct transform into a mesmerising wonderland as it casts a golden glow across the harbour. Viaduct Harbour together with Philips Lighting will work to harness the creative potential of this new permanent lighting installation designed by Angus Muir. For the duration of Matariki, between 6 - 11pm the sea wall lighting will take on the added effect of stars to echo the Matariki constellation rising in the north east.  

Viaduct Harbour Holdings Chief Executive, Angela Bull, says, “we’re excited Viaduct Harbour’s lighting installation is complete just in time for Auckland’s celebration of Matariki.  There is nothing more festive than lighting and it’s a fantastic way to draw people together to enjoy our city during winter.”

Framing the city’s cultural hub, Aotea Square, a special light show will also illuminate the Auckland Town Hall with images from host iwi artists Star, Aroha and Ra Gossage. The Ngāti Manuhiri wahine tell their story in a captivating narrative stretching across past, present and future as a tribute to their late father Peter Gossage and their iwi.

Auckland Museum’s building and Auckland Transport’s Te Ara I Whiti cycleway will also shine in honour of Matariki’s star cluster along with another fourteen buildings and landmarks to mark the start of Tāmaki Makaurau’s three week mid-winter festival.

“This year, thanks to the huge support from local businesses and organisations getting in behind the Matariki Festival, we’re able to bring this beautiful sunrise colour to life throughout the city and start the festival on a bright note,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, Community Development and Safety Committee Chair.  

“The colour is significant because at this time of year the Matariki constellation rises in the north east near the same point on the horizon as the sun. “

Auckland building owners and managers are encouraged to join the festivities if they are able and light up in celebration.

This year’s festival, hosted by Ngāti Manuhiri, begins on 10 June with a dawn karakia at Tāwharanui Regional Park with celebrations running until 2 July.  

More than 100 events will be running across the Auckland region during the Matariki Festival celebrating Māori culture, art, entertainment, and food.

For more information and the full programme go to matarikifestival.org.nz